The Innovation Powerhouse is packed with people from all corners of the world this evening. Ready to celebrate the opening of VanBerlo's new head office. CEO Thomas Paulen welcomes the crowd. Not only tonight, but also in the years to come: “The Innovation Powerhouse is yours as well. This is a place where we can work together."
And indeed, this unusual place, the former power plant of Philips, has what it takes to make true collaboration happen. From an area where you can learn about future scenarios, to exploring things in virtual reality and how to realize next level user testings. There is a beautiful room for Color, Material and Finish and there is…. well, so much more! “I would love for you to come and experience it yourself", says Paulen to the audience.
Let's do this together
To sweeten the festivities several guest speakers are invited to take the floor. First up is Frans Joziasse, director at PARK and a long term partner of VanBerlo. Next is Staf Depla, vice mayor of the city of Eindhoven, who played an important role in this project.
Staf Depla, vice mayor of the city of Eindhoven
Ad van Berlo, founder and driving force behind the Innovation Powerhouse, also reminisces about this powerful partnership: “The municipality of Eindhoven has shown how a government body can be an inventive and constructive partner. I deeply appreciate the way we have worked together on this amazing project."
This is nuts!
“But it wasn't always easy", Van Berlo continues his speech. “Let me put it like this: I think this has been the most intense design project of my career. When we first entered this place in 2011 we had to wear protective suits and put oxygen masks on our faces. The building was containing enormous amounts of asbestos, the grounds were heavily polluted. We consulted very experienced building specialists about turning this old powerhouse into our new headquarters. But their verdict was clear: you are completely nuts. The removal of the asbestos alone is a mission impossible."
Ad van Berlo, founder of VanBerlo
It all starts with imagination
“But we are designers, triggered by the possible end result. We like to use our imagination. What would this place look like if you take away all the machines? How could we define a new layout? How can we create something truly amazing here? We saw a place with endless opportunities."
It is happening right now
The last speaker of the evening is Peter Wennink, CEO of ASML. His company once started in a building right across the Innovation Powerhouse. Wennink speaks about the fourth industrial revolution - 3D printing, robotics, internet of things - that is happening right now. “This next industrial revolution raises questions about the inclusion of the human being. And this is where the VanBerlo people kick in. They are the translators between human beings and our future."
Peter Wennink, CEO of ASML
A house of dreams
Wennink is also a strong supporter of the Brainport region: “It is the unique ecosystem of Eindhoven that has made this area into one of the high tech centers of the world. Here we can do things that nobody in the world can do. We need to realize that." Then he looks into the audience: “We call this the Innovation Powerhouse, but let it be a house of dreams - that come true."
Filled with positive vibrations, the Innovation Powerhouse opening party continued into the night... Here are some more photos from the event.